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Bahrain tightens reins on Islamic banking; AfDB bats for Nigeria


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Bahrain tightens reins on Islamic banking; AfDB bats for Nigeria


Bahrain gets stricton Islamic banking: The Central Bank of Bahrain proposed new guidelinesthat would require Islamic lenders in the country to conduct external Shariahaudits of their operations, Reuters reports.Islamic banks in the Gulf region currently practice self-regulation throughin-house boards of Islamic scholars.

* Stocks in the Tadawul All Share Index dropped 3.8%yesterday, higher than any other market in the world, as Saudi Arabia disclosedmeasures to cut its budget deficit, Bloomberg News reports.The kingdom reduced staff allowances and scrapped bonus payments, as well ascut ministers' salaries as part of austerity measures.

* Saudi Arabian lobbyists are enlisting major U.S. firms,including General Electric and Chevron, to make an economic case against theJustice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which will allow families of victimsof the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to sue the kingdom, Politico writes.The lobbyists argue that corporate assets in the kingdom could be at risk ifthe law takes effect.

* Iran yesterday rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia to cubits oil production in exchange for the latter reducing oil supply, Reuters writes.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in which the two nationsare included, will hold informal discussions today.

* The Kuwaiti government must create a secondary debt marketto be able to issue a sovereign bond, Reuters reports,citing Commercial Bank of KuwaitKPSC Chairman Ali Mousa al-Mousa. The government intends to issueup to 3 billion dinars in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds and sukuk ininternational markets.

* Central Bank of Kuwait Governor Mohammad Al Hashel saidlocal banks have absorbed the shock of low oil prices and became moreresilient. He noted, however, that the weak economic environment will putpressure on the banking sector, Argaam reports.

* Kuwaiti stock brokers are required to put a deposit ofbetween 170,000 dinars and 300,000 dinars in local banks to avoid default, Al-Jarida notes.

* Bankers estimate that the Israeli mortgage market willclose 2016 with approximately 60 billion shekels in combined lending,relatively flat compared to 2015, Haaretzreports.

* IsraelDiscount Bank Ltd.'s offering of stocks and options saw demand ofabout 1.3 billion shekels, with the bank raising roughly 700 million shekels inthe investment institution stage, Globes writes.The share price was set at 6.93 shekels per share.

* The board of Malath Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Co.recommended increasing the company's capital by 260 million Saudi Arabianriyals through a rightsissue to boost its solvency margin and support future activities.

* Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co. received regulatory approvalto issue health insurance policies.

* Bahrain-based alternative investment firm Investcorp will distributemore than $700 million to investors, including itself, in the first quarter offiscal year 2017.

* The Moroccan central bank kept its benchmark interest rateunchanged at 2.25%, Reuters writes.The central bank said it expects inflation to remain at about 1.6% this yearbefore falling to 1.2% in 2017. La Nouvelle Tribune adds that the central bank ispreparing for the transition to a floating dirham.

* The Egyptian pound yesterday plunged to 12.99 to the U.S.dollar on the black market, down 1.9% from a week ago, according to the averagequote of four currency dealers polledby Bloomberg. The figure marks the lowest level since the weekly polls werestarted in 2013, amid speculation that Egypt will devalue its currency for thesecond time in 2016.

* The 2017 Finance Act will allow small investors to investin public banks via the Algiers stock exchange, bypassing the Bank of Algeria, El Watan says.


AfDB bats forNigeria: The African Development Bank pledged to lend Nigeria $4.1 billionover 2016 and 2017 at a concessional 1.2% interest rate to assist the countryin getting out of recession, JeuneAfrique says.Bloomberg News citesAkinwumi Adesina, the bank's president, as saying that the AfDB will continueto "strongly" support Nigeria as the economy is "too big tofail." The development bank is poised to approve a $1 billion loan forNigeria next month.

* The AfDB approveda $310 million trade finance loan for Ecobank Transnational Inc. to support small andmedium-sized enterprises and local companies involved in import-exportactivities in the sub-Saharan countries where Ecobank is present.

* The National Bank of Rwanda maintainedits key repo rate at 6.5%. The central bank's financial stability committeeobserved that in the 12 months to June, Rwandan banks' total assets increasedby 14% and are dominated by credit to the private sector.

* Bank of Ghana Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku signaledthat the performance of the country's lenders will improve significantly afterhaving partly settled the debt owed to commercial banks by the Volta RiverAuthority, Ghana Star reports.The government paid 250 million Ghanaian cedis to the lender banks at the startof the month, with the remaining balance expected to be paid within five yearswith quarterly principal and interests.

* Meanwhile, the Institute of Statistical, Social andEconomic Research warned that a further delay in the release of the IMF bailoutcash for Ghana will lead to a rise in the cost of credit and inflation in the comingmonths, Citi Business News notes.

* Access BankPlc is poised to issue the first eurobond to come out of Nigeria innearly two years, ThisDay writes.

* Equity GroupHoldings Ltd. cut the interest rates on its loans by 50 basispoints, in line with the Central Bank of Kenya's recent cut of its key rate to10% from 10.5%, Business Daily writes.


Botswana set for newcentral bank chief after 17 years: Bank of BotswanaGovernor Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo will retire Oct. 20 after 17 years in therole, accordingto Reuters.

Capitec BankHoldings Ltd. will cut back on lending to customers in lower incomegroups amid weak economic growth in South Africa, Reuters writes.The bank also said it will team up with an insurer to launch insurance productsin 2017, Bloomberg News also covers.

* Angola'scentral bank sold €138 million last week, down from €315 million the previousweek, Jornal de Angola reports.Angola, Africa's No. 1 oil producer, is suffering shortages of foreign currencydue to sharply lower global oil prices.

* Angola's insurance regulator said the country could havefarm insurance before the end of the year, Angop writes.


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Xana Kakoty, HenniAbdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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